Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hell and Waterfalls

A lady emailed me a while back and was offended by an article on our website wherein I mention the Bible’s teaching on Hell. She said, “I can’t believe you think this! You’re just trying to scare people. That’s not very loving.” 

Well, in response to that (and I told her this), I think being forthright about Hell—if it’s done with the right heart—is actually very loving. You won’t catch me standing on a street corner with a bullhorn yelling at people to turn or burn. I don’t think that’s very winsome—or effective. But I do think sharing the truth about what the Bible says regarding eternity in a humble, straightforward way is very loving. Let me illustrate…

Imagine a blind woman walking towards the edge of a cliff. You and I are familiar with the terrain. And she’s not. And we can see where the woman is heading.  And we know there is a 500 foot drop down to jagged rocks and cold pounding surf. Would it be unloving to warn her about what’s coming? No. It would actually be unloving to let her continue unwarned.  

Here’s another illustration...

There are some beautiful rivers in the world that have signs warning boaters of what will happen if they continue down the river.  The signs are big bright orange and yellow signs that say: “Pullout canoes here. Danger waterfall ahead!!” Now, you could look at those signs and say:
  • “How unloving that someone would put these signs up here.”  
  • “They are ruining the pristine beauty of this place.”  
  • “They’re just trying to spoil our fun.”  
  • “They’re just trying to scare people.” 
And if there really wasn’t a waterfall, those things might be true. But what if there really was a waterfall? Well then, the Park Ranger who put up the signs was doing a very loving thing wasn’t he? It was out of concern for unaware boaters that the signs were put up...because if you continue on down the river, you are going to have some serious problems.

That’s why we speak about Hell. That’s why the Bible speaks so clearly about these things. Hell actually exists. It’s a real place. So, we speak of these things in love. We don’t want unaware boaters (people without Jesus) to perish. They are sailing along the river of life unaware that they are headed to judgment.  

If you yourself are headed toward that judgment and want to make sure you escape God's wrath, please read this short article, Finding Peace with God, and place your faith in Jesus.         

For more resources that address the Bible's teaching on Hell, see ABR's section on Hell here